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Sam Richardson

Originally from Salcombe, on the South coast of Devon, I started my career as a boat builder at the age of 16 before moving in to carpentry and fine woodworking. Now based in Portchester, Hampshire, I am the third generation of Richardson Chairmakers, learning the skills passed down from father to son in the creation of ladderback chairs.

As an avid sailor, I feel most at home on the water and this is a key source of inspiration within my designs. The curvature of the back slats is inspired by the curves of a boat, steam-bent using traditional methods. 


Sustainability is a key component in the materials I source, with every tree used being replanted. The wood I use is from fast growing trees so that they will quickly be replaced as well as being sourced locally, to reduce my CO2 footprint.



My Grandfather grew up in Stoneywell Cottage, the former holiday home of famous furniture maker and architect, Ernest Gimson. Surrounded by Gimson's furniture, my Grandfather, John Richardson, would later call on his memories of his childhood to create his own chair designs.

John Richardson Chair Makers

Richardson Chairmakers Opens


My grandfather turned his hand to furniture making in 1981 after having first run a greengrocer and been a member of the military police in Malaysia. He started making pine furniture from reclaimed floorboards in Leicester but soon moved on to chairmaking, taking inspiration from his memories of Stoneywell Cottage.

Richardson Chairmakers Lino Cut Artwork

From grandfather to grandson


My grandfather was self-taught and iterated his design through the years. Not knowing I was interested in learning the chairmaking craft, he had disposed of many of his templates upon retirement. We decided that the best way for me to learn was to spend several intensive weeks learning from him first-hand over many cups of tea and time at the lathe.

Sam Richardson Ladderback Chair

The Chairs Today


The design for my own chairs came fairly organically. The curved back is inspired by the strong but fluid lines of a boat, whilst the angled tops provide comfort for the flats of your palms when handling the chair.

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Available in Ash, Oak & Beech